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Thread: First decent HDR from G1

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    First decent HDR from G1

    Shot on a bean bag, 7 shot bracket +/- 2/3, Photmatix used to generate the HDR. The new version of Photomatix seems to do a much better job of getting what I want without much fiddling:

    From my weekend trip to Yosemite. Vernal Falls shot from the footbridge.

    Enjoy,
    Doug


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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    Hi

    nice image ... I use my G1 for this quite a bit .. I don't like the operation of the cameras as much as I did my 10D but there are ways around that. Files also demonstrate that little more noise or less dynamic range when pressed a bit using tonemapping from a single RAW

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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    Hi

    nice image ... I use my G1 for this quite a bit .. I don't like the operation of the cameras as much as I did my 10D but there are ways around that. Files also demonstrate that little more noise or less dynamic range when pressed a bit using tonemapping from a single RAW
    So, until I was reading something last night, it never really occurred to me to use tome mapping on a single file. I played with it a bit last night, but I am not wholly satisfied, and I am suspecting user error .

    What types of files are you using it on, an do you have a particular workflow when you do work on a single file?

    Thanks,

    Doug

  4. #4
    ChrisJ
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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    Great shot Doug, you guy's are so lucky having spectacular scenery like that, here's my offering from Whitby Nth Yorkshire UK.



    It's just a bind to have to take 7 frames to get the +/- 2stop spread. I keep sending e-mails to Panasonic to put a HDR (3 frames 2 stops apart) setting into the bracketing, no response so far, but the more they get asked the more likely they are to do it.

    Chris

  5. #5
    ChrisJ
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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    With the time it takes to rattle off 7 frames you will more usually get results such as this.



    So we're limited to subjects that don't move which rules out people, trees on a windy day, water etc.

    It's a real shame as they have given us a quick way to get into bracketing mode, but for HDR theres just not enough range with each frame.

    So C'mon guys and gals send an e-mail to panny and let's see if we can get them to add a HDR setting to the otherwise very good bracketing mode.

    Chris

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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisJ View Post
    With the time it takes to rattle off 7 frames you will more usually get results such as this.

    So we're limited to subjects that don't move which rules out people, trees on a windy day, water etc.

    It's a real shame as they have given us a quick way to get into bracketing mode, but for HDR theres just not enough range with each frame.

    So C'mon guys and gals send an e-mail to panny and let's see if we can get them to add a HDR setting to the otherwise very good bracketing mode.

    Chris
    Yea but I like your shot - it has a ghostly feel to it that adds to the atmosphere - i have done HDR and also feel disappointed with movements like leaves - so i understand your gripe - but because there is so much difference it looks more like a montage.

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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisJ View Post
    Great shot Doug, you guy's are so lucky having spectacular scenery like that, here's my offering from Whitby Nth Yorkshire UK.

    It's just a bind to have to take 7 frames to get the +/- 2stop spread. I keep sending e-mails to Panasonic to put a HDR (3 frames 2 stops apart) setting into the bracketing, no response so far, but the more they get asked the more likely they are to do it.

    Chris
    Chris,
    Glad you liked it. We are lucky to be only about 4 hours away from Yosemite (although I don't get up there as often as I like ).

    I have to agree about the 7 shots being problematic, especially since it should be resolvable in firmware, and I have "shared" .

    Photomatix does have a ghosting removal algorithm that seems to help some.

    Here are a couple more. The first is from the same location, just earlier. The second is from Tuolomne Meadows and is an attempt at using a single image and tone mapping it.

    Enjoy,

    Doug




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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    Hi Doug

    Quote Originally Posted by greypilgrim View Post
    So, until I was reading something last night, it never really occurred to me to use tome mapping on a single file. I played with it a bit last night, but I am not wholly satisfied, and I am suspecting user error .

    What types of files are you using it on, an do you have a particular workflow when you do work on a single file?
    it varies ... the key is to not go over the top and to always leave the image looking like the gamma is still too low, and needing some fiddle in Photoshop. Typically I use a little "contrast masking" using unsharp mask at 60 or so pixels.

    here are some samples ...




    this one was really useful to bring out the detail around the eyes




    I have a blog article briefly talking about what can be done here.

    All too often its misused to create mostrosities rather than bring out what might be in your files with far less work.

    BTW ... when doing HDRI I think that the 7 stop in steps stuff sucks so badly. I refuse to do it.

    Typically I set up on the tripod, dial in 3 EV below take; bring back to normal take; dial in 3 EV above and take. I always use RAW. Its the fastest way to do it and my results are reasonable.




  9. #9
    ChrisJ
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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    Glad you like the shot pellicle. I like your HDR conversions, like you I hate the OTT HDR shots which give HDR a bad name. None of that with your shots, they're really good.

    I use a similar technique to you on these single shot HDR (or multi shot ones too for that matter), but I use the Lasoo Tool to roughly select an area needing adjustment in CS4 and feather lots, then pull up a Levels or Curves Adjustment Layer, if you shot in Raw and are working in 16bit mode it's amazing the detail you can pull out.

    If I want really fine control, I overstate the settings in the Levels or Curves Adjustment Layer then select the mask. Ctrl (Cmd on a Mac) + I (the letter I) will invert the mask to black and remove the effect, then with a White brush with the Opacity set to around 10% I can paint in the effect I want in with full control, pressing the X key will revert the brush to black to correct any mistakes.

    You can play with Light using this tecnique, as here (not shot on a G1, but on my Pentax K10D) I removed the shadow cast by the brim of his hat and reduced some the shadow behind his arm.

    Two more stunning shots Doug.

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisJ; 24th October 2009 at 12:20.

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    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisJ View Post
    From my (sorry) "neither HDR fan nor micro 4/3 cameras educated fellow" point of view, this shot above is by far the most interesting of the lot.

    In fact, it's a superb photo.

    (maybe the bench on the right... whatever...)
    Last edited by Corlan F.; 24th October 2009 at 13:20.

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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    Chris,
    Glad you liked them. I think I like the last one the best, although I go back and forth as to whether it is too much. Just really getting started playing with it.

    Pellicle, I REALLY like the last one in the group, and thanks for the tips and answer.

    If I am shooting manual, I just dial the aperture values up and down.

    I have some old bracketed shots from my D200 and D70 that I need to go back and explore. In the past, I have gotten horrible results from P-Shop HDR's, so I used to manually blend them. I will have to see what Photomatix generates with them.

    Doug

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    Doug

    Quote Originally Posted by greypilgrim View Post
    If I am shooting manual, I just dial the aperture values up and down.
    personally I prefer to dial the shutter around the place in M mode as this does not alter DoF (should that be an issue). I've recently started playing with dialing the ISO up and down instead ... I am getting fond of this method.

    but movement is ever a problem. I prefer to used this with landscapes where there is no movement or use longer shutter times so that movement is blurred ... this seems less objectionable in artifact production

    Christian Blochs book is recommended reading

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    ChrisJ

    thanks for your kind words ... being a little uncertain as to what to say to things like this I'll just say that its appreciated

    </blush>

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    Chris, we're planning a trip up to Whitby on Monday - as you know, it's an absolutely beautiful location... you're both lucky!

    From my last trip to Whitby...





    As for HDR, there's enough experience out there of using HDR - I don't know why the camera manufacturers put the feature in, if they're not going to get it right... the HDR sequence should be far more configurable.

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Senior Member m3photo's Avatar
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    Re: Fine Control

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisJ View Post
    ... if you shot in Raw and are working in 16bit mode it's amazing the detail you can pull out.
    Quite agree, and one can't say this enough. As my mates back in Oz would say "Jpegs are for wimps, mate!"

    A different technique I use mainly when copying slides is to shoot "Over" and "Under" and load them as layers placing the lighter one on top. Then Using "Select Color Range" choose Highlights, Feather between 150 and 200 Pixels and press Cmd/Ctrl "X" and then flattening the Layers . It will usually suffice to get more range this way. Three different exposures can be made of course for those requiring more detail from shadow areas while maintaining detail in skies for example.

    There's another fine way of playing with light and shadow and that's simply placing a New Layer over the existing one and filling it with 50% Grey and then changing this Layer's Style to Overlay. Then proceed to paint in Black or White (as indicated - Default by pressing "D" and switch from one to the other by pressing "X") with the opacity set back to between 15 and 20% to taste. The ability to turn this Layer on and off occasionally will better show you what results you're obtaining, as sometimes it seems you've hardly made any changes. If you want to cancel an area you've painted on; just paint it with 50% Grey again.

    This image, called "Twelve Eyes", originally very harsh, was treated with the above technique:


  16. #16
    ChrisJ
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    Re: Fine Control

    Quote Originally Posted by m3photo View Post
    Quite agree, and one can't say this enough. As my mates back in Oz would say "Jpegs are for wimps, mate!"

    A different technique I use mainly when copying slides is to shoot "Over" and "Under" and load them as layers placing the lighter one on top. Then Using "Select Color Range" choose Highlights, Feather between 150 and 200 Pixels and press Cmd/Ctrl "X" and then flattening the Layers . It will usually suffice to get more range this way. Three different exposures can be made of course for those requiring more detail from shadow areas while maintaining detail in skies for example.

    There's another fine way of playing with light and shadow and that's simply placing a New Layer over the existing one and filling it with 50% Grey and then changing this Layer's Style to Overlay. Then proceed to paint in Black or White (as indicated - Default by pressing "D" and switch from one to the other by pressing "X") with the opacity set back to between 15 and 20% to taste. The ability to turn this Layer on and off occasionally will better show you what results you're obtaining, as sometimes it seems you've hardly made any changes. If you want to cancel an area you've painted on; just paint it with 50% Grey again.

    This image, called "Twelve Eyes", originally very harsh, was treated with the above technique:
    That's a great technique m3photo, I was shown a similar one a couple of years ago except it uses PS to create the mask.

    Open both images dark one on top.

    On the dark layer create a mask.

    Go to the lighter layer and use Ctrl + A to Select All, then Ctrl + C to Copy.

    Go back and select the Mask you just created and use Ctrl + V to Paste.

    A B&W version of the bottom (Lighter) layer will be copied to the mask.

    Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and blur it lots (around 40% or so, it's worth playing around with this figure).

    On the top dark layer select the Blend Mode as you suggested to Overlay or Soft Light etc. whichever works best for that image.

    There you have it, two different exposures perfectly blended into each other. You can continue with other exposures in the same way.

    Any other exposures with any significant detail can be added. The easiest way is to Merge Down what you have so far to a new Layer by using Ctrl + Shift + Alt + 'E' then open another exposure, add a Mask to the darker of the Layers, if your new layer is darker than the composite layer then put the mask on that layer and copy and paste the lighter composite to it as above, if your new Layer is lighter then add the the mask to the composite Layer and copy and paste the lighter one into the new mask and blur and blend as before. In other words the darker layer carries the mask and the lighter layer is blended into it.

    This technique usually works 'out of the box', but, of course, there is nothing to stop you from manually 'tweaking' by painting directly onto the mask.

    That's another great picture you have there, those cat's look really threatening, or is that just me?

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisJ; 25th October 2009 at 08:56. Reason: Spelling!!!

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    Thanks everyone for a most interesting thread, particularly the idea of using tone mapping on a single file. I've always been put off by the pseudo-artistic look of most of the HDR examples I've seen but these images and explanations have inspired me to download the trial version of Photomatix.

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    ... the key is to not go over the top and to always leave the image looking like the gamma is still too low, and needing some fiddle in Photoshop. Typically I use a little "contrast masking" using unsharp mask at 60 or so pixels...

    I have a blog article briefly talking about what can be done here.

    All too often its misused to create mostrosities rather than bring out what might be in your files with far less work.

    BTW ... when doing HDRI I think that the 7 stop in steps stuff sucks so badly. I refuse to do it.

    Typically I set up on the tripod, dial in 3 EV below take; bring back to normal take; dial in 3 EV above and take. I always use RAW. Its the fastest way to do it and my results are reasonable.
    I'm slightly confused by what you mean when you say "7 stop in steps sucks". Doesn't 3 EV under, a normal exposure, and 3 EV yield a 7 stop range? Or do you mean 7 or more exposures (rather than 3) from -3 EV to +3 EV?

    And thanks for the link to your blog, which I found while searching for information about m4/3rds adapters. I subscribed to your RSS feed months ago but somehow didn't make the connection between "m4/3rds, G1, 300mm, FD lenses, Australia, Finland, etc" and your "pellicle" persona here. I must be thick as two bricks.

  18. #18
    ChrisJ
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    Re: First decent HDR from G1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    I'm slightly confused by what you mean when you say "7 stop in steps sucks". Doesn't 3 EV under, a normal exposure, and 3 EV yield a 7 stop range? Or do you mean 7 or more exposures (rather than 3) from -3 EV to +3 EV?
    On a G1 you have to expose 7 frames to get a +/- 2 stops spread as the camera only allows a maximum of 0.5 stops per frame.

    Most other cameras allow you to set how many stops between frames, so on my Pentax K10D (and on other DSLR's I'm sure) I only have to take 3 frames to get the spread of exposures I need for HDR. As it takes less time to rattle off 3 frames rather than the 7 the G1 needs to get the exposure spread, the G1 rules out any subject which has movement in such as water, trees on a windy day or people etc..

    Of course it's true that taking 3 frames takes time, but Photomatix Pro can cope and align some movement, but the extra time required for 7 frames is beyond the programs abilities, hence the problem.

    Chris

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    Senior Member m3photo's Avatar
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    Re: Fine Control with Masks

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisJ View Post
    Open both images dark one on top ../.. by painting directly onto the mask.

    That's another great picture you have there, those cat's look really threatening, or is that just me?
    Thanks Chris, I hope many can pick up on these and get more out of their images; not wanting to start an ethics thread I'm definitely one of those in favour of going on where the digital camera starts with its raw file.

    The cats were very wild, and didn't take kindly to my stepping on their turf, hence the fiery eyes!

  20. #20
    ChrisJ
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    Re: Fine Control with Masks

    Quote Originally Posted by m3photo View Post
    The cats were very wild, and didn't take kindly to my stepping on their turf, hence the fiery eyes!
    You have captured the 'threat' perfectly, it's more than just a picture of cats.

    There really are some great images in this thread.

    Chris

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